Bucking the pessimism felt elsewhere in Europe, expats in Switzerland and Germany remain robust to wider turmoil. Through a mixture of fiscal policy11 and strong export markets12, Switzerland and Germany stand out as beacons of growth in Europe in the Expat Explorer survey, taking up 1st and 7th position out of 37 countries respectively in the Expat Economics league tables.
The economic realities of both countries have translated into local expat sentiment, with most expats in Switzerland and Germany (86% and 87% respectively) reporting that they are satisfied with the local economy in contrast to European averages (53%). This optimism continues when expats in both places were asked whether the country is getting better as a place for expats to live and work - roughly a third of expats in Switzerland and Germany (37% and 28% respectively) believe the country is getting better compared to one in four (24%) expats in the rest of Europe.
The strength of these economies has also resulted in expats reporting that they are better off financially with one in three (34%) expats in Switzerland and one in four (27%) in Germany citing an improvement in their financial status since relocating compared with less than a quarter of expats across Europe who said the same (23%). This mixture of strong economies, higher earnings and better financial statuses allow nearly seven in ten (69%) expats in Switzerland to have more disposable income - the highest among all European countries covered in this year's report. Additionally, more than half of expats (51%) in Germany reported having higher disposable income compared with a global average of 40%.
The pull of a strong economy in both Switzerland and Germany comes at a price however, with the countries falling in to the bottom half of the Expat Expenses league table (ranking 23rd and 25th respectively). The expensive cost of living is having a particular impact on expats in Switzerland. More than two in five (43%) expats are currently looking to leave the country and are doing so because of costly outgoings - much higher than the European average of only 27% of expats who said the same.
Expat Explorer collects key findings from countries around the world.
Use the dropdown menus above to add or remove criteria and see which findings from 2012 are most relevant to you, or use our league table to see how countries compare.